By Rohit Verma, Managing Director, Crawford & Company
Hurricane Ian caused more damage in Florida and the Carolinas than last year̵7;s Hurricane Ida in Louisiana, in terms of the number of buildings, vehicles and infrastructure affected. That is the main reason why Ian’s insured losses are likely to exceed Ida’s $36 billion.
Ian’s flood damage claims are expected to exceed Ian-caused wind damage claims as a percentage of this $40 billion to $60 billion event, even though only about 18 percent of Florida homes had flood insurance. Crawford & Company expects that we will handle a significant percentage of these flood claims. Managing both insured and uninsured losses will be particularly challenging.
As routes are cleared to the communities of Fort Myers and Florida’s southwest coast, Crawford continues to assess the hurricane’s impact and assist with the recovery. In our fastest-ever ramp-up, thousands of Crawford adjusters are already deployed – our largest deployment in history at such an early stage – and we expect this number to increase in the coming weeks.
This adjustment commitment is spread across our US CAT team: managed repair network Contractor Connection, our loss adjusting business; Crawford’s on-demand inspection service WeGoLook; and edjuster, the technology-driven provider of field and computer claims management solutions Crawford acquired in August 2021.
Crawford Global Technical Services is also engaged with several customers still assessing damage from Hurricane Ian, and we expect the volume of commercial claims to increase as they are reported. In addition, Crawford has fully operational support rooms in Gainesville, Tampa, Sunrise and Orlando, Florida.
Access remains challenging during the early stages of the response due to damaged infrastructure, but we have prioritized emergency response, board activities and tree removal to help mitigate further damage and restore homes and commercial buildings to a usable condition as quickly as possible .
As we move further into the restoration process, claims inflation and supply chain issues will likely affect the industry’s response to Hurricane Ian. There will be an intense demand for building materials.
Our immediate focus now is to help those who experienced devastating losses and restore lives, businesses and communities affected by the hurricane.